Breaking News
Nagaland Post Logo
You are here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome » Show story
Khasi a dying language becomes a major poll plank
Correspondent SHILLONG, APR 12:
Published on 13 Apr. 2009 12:48 AM IST
Print  Text Size

Khasi language, spoken by about a million people in Meghalaya has become one the important election plank, with major political parties favouring the inclusion of the “endangered language” in the Eight schedule of the Constitution. Khasi, which is part of the Mon-Khmer group of dialects, is among the 196 languages of India listed as endangered by UNESCO. Khasi language is the official language spoken by tribal Khasi and Jaintia in Meghalaya. “Though, modernization and materialism have gripped us all, but we have to preserve our melodious mother-tongue, especially at a time when our local dialect is among one of the Indian languages that is dying,” technocrat-turned Congress candidate Vincent H Pala said. If elected, he said he will take an initiative to set up an “Academy of Letters” to encourage the use of Khasi as a spoken language, encourage writing of prose, poetry and drama, set standards for the teaching of the language and ensure its grows . “This Academy would take up vigorously the demand that Khasi be recognized as one of the languages in the eight Schedule of the constitution,” Pala asserted. Echoing his arch-rival, John F Kharshiing of the United Democratic Party (UDP) felt the strong need to preserve the Khasi dialect. “If a lone Bodo MP from Assam can argue alone in the parliament to include his (Bodo) dialect in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. I would leave no stone unturned to fight for the recognition of the Khasi language in the constitution,” Kharshiing, who for long has been fighting for the recognition of traditional chiefs in Meghalaya, said. Likewise, Rev PBM Basaiawmoit of the Hills State’s People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), whose top priorities is to fight for protection of tribal and minority rights also felt the same. “Everyone knows that it’s a dying language, but to fight just for inclusion of the language in the eight schedule of the constitution won’t help. Instead, we need to study how to attract our people to read and write in Khasi dialect,” Rev Basaiawmoit said. Former Food and Civil Supplies Minister Martle N Mukhim who is contesting on Meghalaya Democratic Party ticket also said that he would also fight for the recognition of the Khasi language. Khasi is rich in folklore and folktales, and behind most of the names of hills, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, birds, flowers and animals in Meghalaya there is a story. In the past, the Khasi language had no script of its own. Baptist missionary William Carey attempted to write the language with the Eastern Nagari script between 1813 and 1838, according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A large number of Khasi books were written in the Eastern Nagari script, including the famous book Ka Niyiom Jong Ka Khasi or The Rule of the Khasis, which is an important manuscript of the Seng Khasi religion.

Comments:(0) Login or Register to post your Comment
(Available for registered users only)
More News